Public lectures & Debates
Experimental Linguistics talk by Rianne Schippers: 'On the acquisition of category P in Dutch'.
The next ELiTU-talk (Experimental Linguistics Talks Utrecht) takes place on Monday 19 September. Rianne Schippers (UiL OTS) will be speaking 'On the acquisition of category P in Dutch'.
The category P in Dutch consists of both particles, (1a), and prepositions, (1b).
| a. Jan eet de boterham opprt.
Jan eats the sandwich up
'Jan eats the whole sandwich.'
| b. De fles staat oppreptafel|
the bottle stands on table
'The bottle is on the table.'
Although particles and prepositions are identical in phonological shape, they behave differently in syntax and carry distinct semantic interpretations. The particle in (1a) functions as a secondary predicate and denotes an end-state. The preposition in (1b) combines with a DP to form a PP and denotes a location. The child acquiring the category P will have to acquire these, and other, differences between prepositions and particles. Considering that prepositions and particles are homophonous, the question is what evidence the child uses to make the distinction.
Based on work with Van Kampen, I will show that the child can acquire the difference between prepositions and particles on the basis of syntactic information. This information will however at first be misleading and irrevocably lead the child to believe that preposition stranding in Dutch is free, as it is in English. Contrary to the child’s belief, and unlike English, preposition stranding in adult Dutch is limited: only a small group of so-called r-pronouns can strand a preposition (Van Riemsdijk (1978)).
(2) *Koffie/*dat/daar dacht Jan aan.
Coffee/that/there thought Jan on
'Coffee is what Jan was thinking of.'
Extraction of a regular pronoun, dat ‘that’, or a full DP, koffie 'coffee', leads to ungrammaticality. Children go through a stage at which they overgeneralize preposition stranding. A longitudinal corpus study reveals that they can extract any complement out of a PP and that they rarely make use of the grammatical alternative in the adult language: pied-piping.
I will show that the child eventually retreats from this overgeneralization on the basis of positive evidence in the input. However, this retreat is slow and independent research (Coopmans & Schippers 2008) suggests that the overgeneralization might linger for several years.
|Start date and time:
|End date and time:
||UiL OTS, Janskerkhof 13, Room 0.06